Tuesday, October 19, 2010

There's a new frog in town

We have two new frogs courtesy of J's Mum's weariness with cricket procurement and enclosure-cleaning. I have to admit that relative to a dog or even a guinea-pig, frogs do not give a great deal back in terms of companionship. J is one of Cheekus' Four First Row Best Friends. He has seven Third Row Best Friends, one of whom is the only girl in any Row, and strangely only two Second Row Best Friends.

I now have two young Spotted March Frogs. They have less appealing faces than my eight remaining Southern Browns but have beautfully patterned - spotted - skins. The little one is rather green and the bigger one is brownish grey. They are slightly less shy than the brownies and like to sit in the water. The marshies have little claws and no webbing on their feet; they can't climb very well but they swim with great verve.

The brownies like to hide in curled-up leaves and look faintly horrified at being made to swim. They like to clamber up the sides of their container using their suction-toed little treefrog feet. I think there is no doubt the brownies are obese. Their bellies bulge out all over, they ignore crickets sauntering brazenly past them and a representative sample (one) failed the hop test. This is when you let a frog climb to the top of the box, hop off, and then gently encourage it to keep hopping in the grass by moving a hand close up behind it. (No contact required.) My sample brownie managed three short, floppy, rather pathetic hops before deciding that being eaten by a hand probably wasn't so bad after all and staying put. If anyone knows of some helpful frog-conditioing exercises let me know.

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